Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Habitat Journey

Pearls and Dreams
2 years ago, we started on a journey to get a house. It has been anything but easy. Emotionally, physically and spiritually. It's challenged us and caused untold stress in our lives. It has caused us to dig into scripture, to think about forgiveness in ways we'd never had to ...and it's caused us to pray in ways that we'd never had to before.

The physical battle for this house was intense. We applied for a house through Habitat for Humanity. To get a house through Habitat, you have to earn the house as well as pay for it. Habitat does not GIVE anyone a house (well, they might be giving them to the Katrina survivors, but that's different). Those who get houses through Habitat BUY the houses and work for them.

Habitat finances the mortgages for the homeowners, and the homeowners must do sweat equity before they can get the house. In order to take ownership of the house, they must work for 500 hours for Habitat. Before they will build the house, you must put in 450 of those hours, with the last 50 on your own house. Only the people's names going on the title may do the sweat equity. The children of the homeowners may only give sweat equity in the form of school grades. So, the adults who will own the house, will do all of the work. If you have a healthy body, this is a formidable task. If your body doesn't work right ... it is an incredibly difficult task.

We entered the program in May 2004. We were in a class of 12 families. Those 12 families all finished the program and were in their houses by the end of October 2005. Now, once you finish your sweat equity, it takes a few months to get into your house. One girl I knew, finished in February, and moved in in October, her wall raising was in late August.

Because of my health issues ... I moved at a much slower pace than my classmates. I'd get sick and there were months that I got in the absolute minimum. 15 hours only. There was one month that I only got 14 in, and we got a warning, that if we did it again, we'd be out of the program.

I was physically struggling to get the hours done. My small group was praying, the worship team was praying, the youth group was praying ... people were praying us through!

In February, 2005, Don was in the ER the last Day of Feburary, and we only had in 9 hours. I was scheduled to work in the office. I had to work in the office while my husband was in the ER and being admitted to the hospital...because it was either stay with Don and loose the house ...or go and do the hours. They kindly told me to go stay and work. When I told them the number of hours I had, they said that it was ok. When I told them I'd already had one month with only 14 hours they said "well, you better stay then."

The hours were difficult, I became sick more than once. I almost wound up in the hospital a few times during the summer.

It was exhausting, and tiring and discouraging as I watched classmate after classmate get their house while my hours slowly got marked off.

My small group prayed. The worship team prayed. The youth group prayed. My prayer partners prayed. People were praying us through.

The whole time, Habitat knew we'd planned on building in Broken Arrow. At no time, did we ever indicate that this was an option for us. It was a necessity for us, physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually. Because of the location of our church, our family, our doctors and our friends.

Habitat however was building only in 2 neighborhoods in North and West Tulsa ... 25 to 30 miles from anything accessible to us.

My small group prayed. The worship team prayed. The youth group prayed. My prayer partners prayed. People were praying us through.

We finally finished the 450 in October of 2005. November 2, 2005, we recieved a message that although they knew that we'd planned on building in Broken Arrow, they would not be building in Broken Arrow and we needed to pick a lot in North or West Tulsa. We had 3 months to pick a lot or be out of the program. We prayed for 4 weeks, then had our friend who was on the Broken Arrow City Counsel go ahead with our plans for lot donation. What could it hurt if they donated it?

We were devastated.

Our prayer teams went into high prayer gear.

5 days before the 3 month limit was up and we recieved a registered letter ... they'd changed their minds, however, they would not build it in 2006. Because of financing restrictions (an agreement made with the city of tulsa to revitalize the city of tulsa) they would have to wait till 2007.

So, we could go to Broken Arrow. But we'd have to wait. So, the rule of you get your house in order of finishing your sweat equity was out the window, but we'd be where we needed to be!

As it stood, 12 people who finished their sweat equity AFTER us.

My small group prayed. The worship team prayed. The youth group prayed. My prayer partners prayed. People were praying us through.

This morning, 6 months from the day of getting the call that we'd not be able to go to Broken Arrow, 2 years from starting the program ... we got a call ...

Things are moving on our lot ...

They are getting it ready to build. They have the financing. They don't know when they will be building ...but they don't think it will be this spring, it will be on the fall build. How quickly it will be determined by the sponsors they get to build. We WILL be in our house before Thanksgiving, 2006.

People prayed. This house will be a house built on prayer! Sunday, my church choir is singing a musical called Somebody's praying me through ... and I don't know how I'm going to get through it ... because ... Somebody truely prayed us through!

9 comments:

  1. It is so wonderful that you are finally going to get your house...and where you want/need it too!! Congrats!

    I answered your question about 4 square breathing in the comments on that post.

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  2. Praise God! This is good news. I'm so happy for you. Congrats on making it this far... you're almost there! I know with God's help and the prayers of your friends you will make it.

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  3. congratulations for every bit of hard work you did to get the house well done to you and your family for never giuving up

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  4. Wow a journey indeed! This is so wonderful to hear. Congratulations Pk! :)

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  5. The lot is HUGE ... it's actually big enough for 3 of Habitat houses. The city of BA donated 3 lots to Habitat and suggested that they just build 2 houses. However, Habitat decided to give us the whole lot because of making us wait so long !!!

    We're right near downtown BA. Sooo excited!!

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  6. Yesssssssss!!!!!! You should have called me you turkey. I'm so happy for you.

    Trouble

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  7. Wanda ... you were supposed to call me when you left RS's office!!!!! Other than that, I was waiting for the 7 pm free calls on my cell phone! :P if you'd called when YOU were supposed to ...you'd have gotten the news! THhhththtptppth.

    Besides, I DID call you! :P

    TURKEY!

    Alison, if you'll email me at PearlsofAnEagle@aol.com, I'll send you an email telling you where it's at in BA.

    Thanks JIP!!! *grin*
    Liz, thanks for coming by, I've enjoyed your blog, it's nice to see you come by my blog!

    Friar Tuck ... we will indeed be pressing on ...surrounded by prayers!

    The house will be surrounded by a white picket fence. Before my marriage was healed, I wanted it as a prayer fence ... I wanted it to represent what I WANTED and would pray for. I'd intended for the pickets to represent the different things I'd pray for in the healing of my marriage. But, since my marriage has been healed.
    It will be a fence of thanksgiving!!!

    We've done EARNED That white picket fence!!!

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  8. Hello
    Im just starting in the habitat program putting in the equity hours,My question of those who are in the program,Im in AZ.Does your habitat program retain ownership of 50% of the equity in your home forever,or is their a way by which you get to own the home.
    Bob

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